Olukoga Opemipo Grace

Mental health basically refers to our emotional, psychological and social well-being that tends to affect human’s thoughts, principles, actions and feelings. As a determinant of how humans handle stress and build relationships, mental health, although heard and claimed to be known by all, is very important at every stage of life from childhood, adolescence till adulthood. Several people suffer from mental health problems with factors like biological factors, life experiences as a result of variety of abuses or trauma and family history. Besides family history/hereditary factors, abuse and traumas serve as a bane that tends to make mental health deteriorates till disorders and other health issues sprout out. The strident clamour raised to create mental health awareness is pivotal since there have been numerous victims of mental illnesses even amongst students who although young and vibrant, have undergone experiences breeding trauma and pains from which they seek instant freedom from. So many people suffer mental illnesses like personality disorder, mood disorder, anxiety disorder, psychotic disorder also known as schizophrenia, substance abuse disorder, trauma-related disorder from which they strive to break free. Although, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has proffered solutions to returning those who suffer from disorders to being stable beings as trained professionals and counsellors thrive to work this out yet the statement “prevention is better than cure” should be in mind as regards Mental health.

More than 450 million people suffer from mental health disorders, according to WHO, and depression will constitute the second largest disease burden worldwide. Are there benefits attached to good mental health? How can mental health be maintained by me as a student? What are components that makes up mental health? How do I know if one close to me is a victim of mental health disorders? If I am a victim, how do I cope? These are questions this article will provide answers to.

For ages, mental health has had impacts on educational outcome, development of positive relationships, crime rate, work productivity and so on. Mental health is linked to behavior and seen as fundamental to physical health. The disturbances arising from mental ill health/poor mental health such as depression which can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease, poor health behavior, social problems like unemployment, divorces, poor relationships are much. There are also vast benefits attached to mental health such as the ability of a being to realize its full potential and succeed and the ability to cope with stress. Researchers have proven that people suffering from mental ill health can be noticed and seen from behavioral attitudes showcased by them such as :

Eating/sleeping less or much

Isolation; pulling from people and usual activities

Complaining of head-aches and pains

Hearing voices or believing untrue words

Showing low or no energy at all

Experiencing mood swings that cause problems to arise in relationships

Drug abuse, smoking and alcohol intake

However, mental ill health and disorder is real but there’s a great chance that when the right things are done, its power is curbed and one would fall out from being a victim and prey. Students must know that there’s a great connection between positive mental health and academic performance and although depression might serve as too difficult to break from, there are ways one can maintain one’s mental health.

Connect with others enough and keep in touch: Isolate yourself less from gatherings. Friendships and relationships are basic to maintaining one’s mental health since there is a certain amount of gaiety that sprouts from being with one’s beloved/close ones.

Embrace positivity: You need to have a positive attitude towards life. Encourage yourself when things are tough and endeavour not to see yourself as an object of failure.

Strive to be physically active: Regular exercise helps to boost self-esteem and breeds concentration. Since, exercise serves as that which keeps the brain and vital organs healthy, it also helps to contribute to a positive mental health.

Eat well: Your brain needs nutrients to stay healthy and function properly. Stick to a diet that is good for your physical health so your mental health will not be at risk. Take breaks and naps regularly and assure yourself that you need as much rest to perform better in every spheres of life.

Get enough sleep: The idea of 8 hours sleep is questioned at times. How can a UI student sleep 8 hours a day when the fear of tsunami or failure grips him/her? Well, amidst striving to attain good grades, you must bear in mind the importance of sleep and rest.

Talk about your feelings: Although, you can’t speak to everyone about your emotions and feelings but finding a confidant early enough to share your experiences with is integral. Ask for help when you feel too overwhelmed by hurdles and experiences.

Do something you’re good at: What do you love doing? What activities can you immerse yourself in and do extremely great? What gives you joy? These are questions you should answer before immersing yourself in any activity.

In conclusion, mental disorder is real and guarding your mental health to avoid becoming a victim is pivotal

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